The Study: The relationship between chronic type III Acromioclavicular joint dislocation and cervical spine pain.
a. The authors wished to determine if subjects who had chronic type III acromioclavicular dislocation had a higher incidence of degeneration and pain in the cervical spine.
b. They studied 34 subjects with this type of acromioclavicular problem and compared them to a control group of 100 subjects.
c. X-rays of the cervical spine were used to evaluate narrowing of the cervical discs, the state of the cervical lordosis and the presence of any osteophytes.
d. They used a neck pain questionnaire (NPQ) to evaluate cervical symptoms.
e. The osteophytes and the intervertebral disc narrowing was similar in both the 34 subjects and the control group.
f. However the cervical lordosis tended to be less in those with the acromioclavicular dislocation.
g. In those with the acromioclavicular dislocation there was an increase in the NPQ value as the lordosis decreased.
h. “The patients with chronic AC dislocation and the normal subjects with cervical lordosis more than 27° had a NPQ mean value of 7.5% and 2.8%, respectively (p = 0.053). The percentages arose, respectively, to 19.3% and 7.9% when cervical lordosis was equal or less than 27° (p =0.041).” You can see how much the loss of cervical lordosis increased the incidence of neck pain both in the AC dislocation group and also in those who did not have the AC problems.
i. “The higher average NPQ values were observed in patients with chronic AC dislocation, especially in those that developed cervical hypolordosis.”
j. “In conclusion, our study shows that patients affected by chronic type III AC dislocation develop neck pain more frequently than the general population. We attributed the neck uneasiness to the cervical hypolordosis, in which prevalence is markedly higher than that observed in the control group.”
Chronic acromioclavicular dislocation problems may contribute to both a loss of cervical lordosis and neck pain. Neck pain appears to be substantially worse in subjects with a cervical lordosis of less than 27 degrees.
I think most of us are familiar with the thought that loss of cervical lordosis has been associated with neck pain. Here is another article that comes to that conclusion but from a slightly different angle.
Reviewer: Roger Coleman DC
Editor: Mark R. Payne DC
Reference: Gumina S, Carbone S, Arcerti V, Rita A, Vertri AR, Postacchini F. The relationship between chronic type III acromioclavicular joint dislocation and cervical spine pain. BMC Musculoskelet Disord. 2009 Dec 16;10:157. doi: 10.1186/1471-2474-10-157.